Labor has accused the government of “losing the conspiracy” over plans for GPs to prescribe people cash to pay their energy and heating bills.
Treasury officials reportedly want GPs to assess whether sick or elderly people need a rebate to heat their homes.
The idea reported in the sun on Sunday Newspaper, said to be one of several being discussed in government to help with living expenses.
But Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting warned the plan would simply put more pressure on the NHS in the winter.
“The Conservatives have lost the conspiracy on the cost of living crisis and have no idea how much pressure is on the NHS,” he said.
Mr Streeting said Labor “already has the right recipe for dealing with soaring energy bills”. The opposition says it would pay energy companies to freeze the energy price cap where it is.
This would prevent expected increases to over £3,000 in the winter.
The Liberal Democrats have put forward a similar proposal, while the Greens say prices are already too high and should be brought down to last year’s levels.
Treasury Department officials appear to believe that using GPs to target energy bill reductions will save money because it will help target cash to the people who need it most.
The government has offered few concrete measures on the cost of living since the spring, while the Conservatives are focused on a contest for party leadership.
New proposals are expected from the winners of the competition next month, with an emergency budget expected in the fall.
The times The newspaper, meanwhile, reports that National Grid is taking action and plans to reward customers for shifting power-hungry activities during periods of low demand.
It will ask regulator Ofgem to make customers pay to postpone tumble drying and dishwashing overnight. The network operator hopes that if approved, the system will be in place by October.
The latest energy bill price cap forecast warns bills could rise to as much as £6,000 by April.
Advisory firm Auxilione says the cap is expected to reach £3,576 in October, rising to £4,799 in January and finally reaching £6,089 in April.
Until April this year the cap was just £1,277 but prices have been boosted by the war in Ukraine and a surge in demand caused by economies reopening after Covid-19 lockdowns.